Richard Branson to Launch Himself to Space “In Months”

With testing of the VSS Unity spaceship progressing better than expected, Virgin Galactic and its leader Richard Branson are confident the next major milestone for the company that plans to send people in space for money is just around the corner.
VSS Unity and carrier aircraft 1 photo
Photo: Virgin Galactic
On Tuesday, while in Singapore, Branson told CNBC that Virgin “should be in space within weeks, not months,” conducting test flights. Then “we will be in space with myself in months and not years," the billionaire stated.

Last we heard of VSS Unity, it conducted a flight test that took it into the Mesosphere of the planet, 170,800 feet above sea level. During the 42 seconds rocket burn, VSS Unity reached 2.47 times the speed of sound. The next logical step is reaching space in the craft.

According to the source, Branson has been undergoing astronaut training in the past few months and believes he too is ready for the first trip to orbit of a private individual.

As for the ones to follow in his footsteps, Branson says the $250,000 ticket price is no impediment for those truly desiring to go to the stars.

"If I have a room full of 10 people, eight out of 10 would love to go to space if they could afford it," he told CNBC.

"So I think the market for people who would love to become astronauts and go to space is gigantic. And it is up to us to produce as many spaceships as we can to cater to that demand."

Virgin Galactic is the single private space company to have lost people during the development process for its spacecraft.

The ship meant to take Branson to space is the second of the range created by Virgin. The first, VSS Enterprise, crashed in 2014 as a result of pilot error. The crash killed the man behind the stick and seriously injured the copilot.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram Twitter
About the author: Daniel Patrascu
Daniel Patrascu profile photo

Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories